When's the last time you made a trip to Dallas' city center? With the expansion of the restaurant scene, outdoor spaces, and a host of attractions and activities, Downtown Dallas offers a variety of adventures for all. Whether you are looking for a family outing or a late night excursion, this guide will help you discover the many different ways you can experience the heart of Dallas.
Swanky Downtown Hotels
Start your Dallas adventure with a stay at one of the many options located Downtown. Check into the historic Adolphus Hotel and book High Tea at The French Room, take a dip in the infinity pool at the Omni Dallas Hotel, or enjoy the best rooftop views atop The Statler. The newest hotel to the Downtown scene, the Thompson Dallas, features a boutique spa, pet-friendly attractions, gorgeous rooms and top-notch dining options. Whatever you choose, these hotels will not disappoint.
Don't let your little ones miss out on all the city fun. Start your trip at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and experiments that will inspire your little scientists. Have a family bonding day at Klyde Warren Park and participate in a free group exercise class together, let the kids run around and play while you relax with a book or grab lunch from the food trucks. Take the family on a ride on one of the vintage McKinney Avenue Trolley street cars – each with a name and unique story – and see where it takes you. For a Downtown dining excursion to satisfy the whole family, head to the Dallas Farmer's Market for a variety of food options and then look around for some unique finds.
Museums for everyone
In addition to the Perot, Downtown has a handful of museums fit for all ages and interests. Start in the Historic West End District – it's home to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Museum of Illusions, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, and the Dallas Aquarium! In addition, there's Sweet Tooth Hotel in nearby Victory Park, an immersive attraction that features Dallas artists in each of their installations.
See the sites
Outside of being a hotspot for entertainment, Downtown Dallas also offers photo-worthy landmarks unique to the city. Head to the Joule to see "The Eye," a 30-foot eyeball sculpture that sits in a lush garden in front of the hotel. From there, take a walk to Pioneer Plaza to see the bronze life-size longhorn cattle sculptures that honor Dallas' cowboy past. Walk across the street to Omni Dallas Hotel to take a picture with Pegasus, and just around the corner you'll find the ultimate sight – Reunion Tower. Experience the best views of the city from 470 feet above. By the end of this mini adventure, you'll have a newfound appreciation for Dallas and plenty of pictures.
Stroll through the Arts District
Immerse yourself in the creative hub of Downtown and experience the artistic side of Dallas. Spread over 20 square blocks, the Arts District is home to a variety of museums, performing arts venues and restaurants. Explore diverse art exhibits and events at the DMA, one of the top 10 largest art museums in the country, and take advantage of free admission year around. Walk over to the Nasher Sculpture Center for the finest collections of modern and contemporary art, and then stay for lunch at the Nasher Café by Wolfgang Puck overlooking the Garden. Extend your adventure into the evening hours by entering a peaceful world of beauty and spirituality at the Crow Museum of Asian Art to experience art from Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia that date from 3500 B.C. to the early 20th century.
Spend some time outdoors with a walk around Dallas' green spaces, like the beautiful Pacific Plaza, a 3.7-acre park that has a large lawn and swing sets, and Main Street Garden Park, a great space to relax and people watch. Make your way to AT&T Discovery District, the newest dining and entertainment destination in Downtown. Have a drink on a patio (there are several options in the District) and enjoy plenty of photo ops.
Downtown has an exciting face after hours as well. Start your evening with a show at the AT&T Performing Arts Center or attend a Dallas Stars or Mavericks game at the American Airlines Center. Head to Victory Park to check out the new Cinepolis for a luxury movie-going experience featuring a gourmet menu with in-theater waiter service. Grab a cocktail or two to end the night at a local favorite bar like Happiest Hour or Hero in Victory Park, or go for something a little more upscale like Sloane's Corner or Musume in the Arts District.